The third and final instalment of Armada's Snowcieties web series is something truly special. Both a fitting tribute to the legend JP Auclair and a fantastic piece of film in its own right, Corey Stanton has done himself proud. It's a difficult trick to pull off capturing the vibe of a place and time in film but throughout the series Corey has nailed it, and I'd argue this is the best piece of film of the three.
Riksgransen has one of the worlds greatest and weirdest ski cultures, a bastion of the free in freeskiing. It's also where Armada Co-founder Chris O'Connell and JP Auclair met for the first time, at one of the first ever 'freeski' contests, sewing the seeds for Armada itself. So it's a fitting place to host the inaugural and now annual JP Memorial, a meeting of OG skiers from that original event and the 'new breed' building on JP's vision.
I actually saw an early cut of this episode which focused more heavily on the JP Memorial. And while it was a cool piece of film, I feel like by toning that back to the key moments, JP's legacy, the spirit of truly free-skiing (be it a campsite mini-jib or a big mountain line) is emphasised all the more. To me, this whole episode exemplifies that spirit of adventure and community JP represented to all of us. I don't want to turn this in to another eulogy, I didn't know JP personally so I don't feel it's my place, but I was on tour with some of the Armada team (including Corey who put this together) when the news filtered through and felt their loss first hand. To go from loss to this visual celebration of life is a beautiful thing to watch and a hell of a way to finish the series. I'm gutted I didn't make it up to Riksgransen to join the party last year but I'll make sure to be there next time round.
If you haven't already watched the video, scroll back up top and check it out now. If you have, check out some more Riksgransen vibes courtesy of Mr. Stanton, this time in photo form: